Hermit on film, part 2

In June I wrote about a documentary about diocesan hermit Brother Hugo, shot for a film festival in Amsterdam. The documentary was shown on national TV last Sunday and is now available via the website of the hermitage. Although the small amount of dialogue is in Dutch, most of the footage is silent. As such it is a reflection of the life of a hermit: solitude with God, in prayer and in the daily chores, interspersed with encounters with all kinds of people – villagers, workmen installing new clock-faces on the tower, and faithful at a Christmas celebration – and Brother Hugo’s trademark dry wit.

The documentary is a quiet portrait which doesn’t delve too deeply into the life of a hermit (I especially missed the role of prayer in a hermit’s life, which doesn’t appear until well into the second half) but offers some beautiful footage of the wide landscapes in summer and winter, where one man takes care of a haven of prayer and tranquillity, as well as northern down-to-earthness.